Posted On Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 01:39:20 AM
When they banned the book, that’s all people could talk about for a while. The book was taken off the list on the request of several people who thought their feelings would be hurt by its existence.
And the authorities knew it was important not to make the people feel bad.
The offended party hadn’t done much for a while and were getting a bit restless, bored of just fidgeting in their seats. Some of them were even glad that feelings were hurt — if only so that it gave them something to do.
But other people reacted when the book was taken off the list. They held panel discussions and debates and gatherings that ended with (or sometimes began with) wine and cheese.
It was unfair they said and bought another copy as a sign of protest, gladly displaying their indignance on television interviews.
And bookshops placed the book in positions of prominence. Newspapers ran quotes of the author on the front page, letting everyone know he was a real person too, not just a name on a cover.
And the author, glad to be back in circulation (a change from being an occassional mention in contemporary fiction discussions), didn’t mind too much when editorials that discussed the book didn’t issue standard ‘spoiler alert’ warnings.
On her way to another city, a girl read a book by the author. A present from a friend, it included a lovely inscription and she clearly was enjoying the rest of it. But what was the point? It was the right author, but the wrong book.
She had, a few hours ago, considered buying herself a copy, but then decided against it. No matter how good that book was, by the time she’d have read it everyone else would have stopped talking about it.